The West has just agreed to stump up a load of cash for Ukraine but there is a distinct sense of deja vu around it all.
Markets are fretting about the prospect of western sanctions on Russia but Europeans will also suffer heavily from any retaliatory trade embargoes from Moscow which supplies roughly a third of the continent’s gas needs – 130 billion cubic metres in 2012.
Ukraine said today it was issuing a $3 billion in two-year Eurobonds at a yield of 5 percent in what seems to the start of a bailout deal with Russia. That sounds like a good deal for Kiev — its Eurobond maturing next year is trading at at a yield of 8 percent and it could not reasonably expect to tap bond markets for less than that. In addition, Ukraine is also getting a gas price discount from Russia that will provide an annual saving of $2.6 billion or so.
Some interesting new data on sovereign wealth funds from State Street Global Advisors, a huge fund firm that does a lot of business with them. Most interesting, perhaps, is that the vast majority of sovereign wealth fund money comes from oil and gas revenues rather than from countries building up large foreign reserves from other trade, eg China.
Oxford SWF Project, a university think tank on sovereign wealth funds, is looking at reports that the latest entry in the field could be Scotland. The project has a new post about the Scottish government floating the idea of an oil stabilisation fund to use oil and gas revenues. It cites Scottish cabinet secretary for finance John Swinney looking abroad gleefully:
More than a “nice to have,” investor sentiment is running heavily on the side of environment, social and governance (ESG) factors, according to the latest Thomson Reuters Perception Snapshot.
If Lithuania’s experience is anything to go by, Spain may regret its declaration that it would rather Russian oil company LUKOIL did not buy a major stake in its largest refiner, Repsol.